“Rona, Azim’s Mother” named best at Sweden Sama film festival 

September 17, 2019

TEHRAN – “Rona, Azim’s Mother”, a co-production between Afghanistan and Iran by Tehran-based Afghan brothers Jamshid and Navid Mahmudi, received the best film award in the Afghan film category at the Sama International Film Festival in Stockholm, Sweden.

Starring Iranian actors Mohsen Tanabandeh and Mojtaba Pirzadeh, the film is about Azim, an Afghan refugee who works as a janitor in Tehran. While helping his mother and his brother’s family plan to smuggle themselves into Germany, he feels betrayed by his brother when he abandons their mother.

“The Camel Boy”, a co-production between Afghanistan and France by Afghan director Shabnam Zaryab, won the best short film award in this section. 

The film is about a little boy, who is forced to enter the world of camel racing. He is scared but the hope of seeing his mother again gives him the strength to overcome his fears.

In the foreign film section of the festival, “A Call to Father” by Serik Aprimov from Kazakhstan was named best film, while “Buttermilk” by Zainobiddin Muso from Tajikistan received the best short film award in this category. 

“A Call to Father” is about a six-year-old boy who lives in a formerly prosperous mining village, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the mine was closed and his father and mother are left without work. The boy has ADHD, his mother hates him and his father can’t protect him.

“Dreaming of Denmark” by Michael Graversen from Denmark was crowned best documentary in this section. 

The film follows the fate of one of the many unaccompanied minor Afghan refugees who is living in Denmark and nervously awaiting acceptance for permanent residency.

Four Iranian short films, including “Empty View” by Ali Zare Qanatnoi and “Maybe One Day” by Jaber Motaharizadeh, were also screened during the festival, which was held from September 13 to 15.
 
“I Am a Foreigner Too” by Nasim Ostovar and “Elephantbird”, a co-production between Iran and Afghanistan by Iranian director Amir Masud Soheili, were also among the films.

The Sama International Film Festival intends to develop and support creative cinema in Afghanistan. The festival screens works by Afghan filmmakers as well as some foreign filmmakers that have made films regarding Afghanistan and also good films from the countries with the same language. 

Photo: A scene from “Rona, Azim’s Mother” directed by Jamshid and Navid Mahmudi.

ABU/MMS/YAW

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